Arthur Shafman, a theatrical and concert producer and artists’ manager, died of pancreatic cancer July 28th in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 75. He was loved by many in the theater and cabaret communities and will be sorely missed – a real gentleman!
As president of the New York-based Arthur Shafman International Ltd., he was involved in the entertainment industry for four decades, shepherding the careers of dozens of well-known performers, including Karen Akers, Shields and Yarnell, Andrea Marcovicci, Martha Schlamme, Jose Molina and Heather MacRae.
Shafman began his association with the concert world when he presented the legendary director Tyrone Guthrie in his first public lecture at New York’s Town Hall.
He also presented the Carnegie Hall debuts of Red Skelton, Burl Ives, and Ivan Rebroff, Hildegarde’s 80th birthday concert, and Anna Russell’s Carnegie Hall farewell concert.
A penchant for travel helped him discover new talent. While in Zurich he attended a Mummenschanz performance. By evening’s end, arrangements had been made for the Swiss mask theater troupe to make its North American debut tour in the fall of 1973.This and subsequent tours led to the record breaking three-and-a-half-year run of the original “Mummenshanz,” the 14th longest in Broadway’s history.
Other productions include Martha Schlamme and Alvin Epstein in “A Kurt Weill Cabaret,” the Tony-nominated musical “Shakespeare’s Cabaret,” the Outer Critics Circle nominee “Compagnie Philippe Gentry” and “Insideoutsideandallaround with Shelley Berman.
As a concert manager, he also co-produced Sandra Reaves-Phillips in “The Late Great Ladies of Blues & Jazz” and guided the careers and/or coordinated tours for Mark Nadler, KT Sullivan, Andrea Marcovici, Christine Andreas, Robert Shields, Michael Feinstein, Anna Russell, The Shirelles, Tammy Grimes, Wesla Whitfield, and Eva Marie Saint and Jeff Hayden in “Love Letters”.
Born in Brooklyn, NY, on April 15, 1939, he was the son of the late Shirley and Sam Shafman. He graduated from Samuel Tilden High School in Brooklyn, New York in 1956, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Survivors include his wife, Jill Gordon Joseloff, and sister and brother-in-law, Susan and Jack Balsam.
A memorial service will be held in New York City in the fall. Donations in his name may be made to Broadway Cares, 165 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036.